Top EU officials 'cost taxpayers more than £50m in pay and perks'


Ukip has accused the European Union of protecting the pay and perks of its top officials whilst forcing member states to impose painful spending cuts.

An analysis by the party claimed that the top 200 officials "potentially" cost EU taxpayers more than £50 million in 2014-15.

All 200 figures on its EU "rich list" were paid more than UK Prime Minister David Cameron who receives an annual salary of £142,500, the party said.

The European Commission hit back, however, pointing out that prior to 2015, officials had had a four year pay freeze.

As well as basic salaries, the Ukip figures include estimated pension costs and side benefits such as the "light touch" tax arrangements which, the party says, means EU officials pay significantly less than their counterparts working for national governments.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker is among the top ten earners with benefits which the party calculates were worth £101,044 in 2014-15 on top of a basic salary worth £241,460.

However many others of the biggest earners were said to be little known judges working for institutions such as the European Court of Justice.

Ukip MP Douglas Carswell said the pay of top EU officials was "a travesty of democracy and accountability".

"The Eurocracy are like the ancien regime, they have forgotten nothing when it comes to their own personal advantages, yet have learned nothing from the years of economic chaos that they have presided over," he said.

"It is time that the UK pulled out of this get-rich scheme for the European establishment."

A spokesman for the commission said: "No commission salaries are decided by the commission. The salary of the President of the European Commission and of commissioners is fixed directly by the council, which is composed of the 28 EU member states, including the UK.

"Officials' salaries are fixed by a statistical method - agreed by member states - linked to cost of living and changes in national civil servants' pay. But there was a pay freeze for four years to 2015. So EU officials had in 2015 their first pay rise in five years."